A Weekend in Whistler

Earlier this month, TallGuy and I went to Whistler for our last ski trip of the season. Thanks to our Epic Pass, we had five FREE days at Whistler-Blackcomb and wanted to take advantage of them. Find out our recommendations for the Ultimate Weekend in Whistler.

Because we had to travel so far, we took a vacation day on Friday and flew out to Vancouver. While there are many different ways to get from Vancouver to Whistler, we opted to rent a car to save some time and we hit the Sea-to-Sky Highway (after a quick lunch pit stop at the Granville Island Public Market). Within two hours, we had arrived at our hotel just in time to get cleaned up for dinner. We grabbed dinner at the Bearfoot Bistro at the base of the mountain and eagerly awaited our main attraction for the evening:

The Ketel One Ice Bar

  TallGuy and Me at the Ketel One Ice Bar

TallGuy and Me at the Ketel One Ice Bar

Tucked in the back of the Bearfoot Bistro sits a frozen escape. Wrap up in the Canada Goose Arctic-ready parkas and step inside the -32C (-25F) the Ketel One Ice Room. The Ice Room is the world’s coldest vodka tasting room – and the only permanent sub-zero vodka room in Canada. With more than 50 vodkas from across the globe, and examples distilled from everything from rye, wheat and soya to hemp seeds, this unique experience is not to be missed. Taste four vodkas of your choice, and discover how the extreme environment enhances the flavor while minimizing the alcohol burn.

Feel free to check out the Whistler Village nightlife or head back to your hotel for a night cap and get some rest in anticipation of tomorrow.

Ski Whistler-Blackcomb

  The view from the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola.

The view from the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola.

Grab a quick bite to eat and head to the base of the mountain. While Saturday is by far the most crowded day on the mountain, sometimes you don't have an option. Be ready to hit the slopes early and take advantage of the legendary Whistler snow. Whistler and Blackcomb are two side-by-side mountains which combined offer over 200 marked runs, 8,171 acres of terrain, 16 alpine bowls and three glaciers, so you'll have plenty of options to choose from, regardless of your ski/snowboard ability. Board the longest and highest lift in the world for an unparalleled perspective of British Columbia’s rooftop – from incomparable views of snow covered peaks to riding through the mist of the clouds. The world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola was built for sightseers, skiers and snowboarders alike. Joining Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, you no longer have to choose which mountain to spend your day on. Grab lunch at the Rendezvous (Blackcomb) or Roundhouse Lodge (Whistler) and take in some of the finest views of the mountain. 

Lose your snowpants and head back into the Village for some après ski and dinner and get ready for:

Bar Hop Whistler

Bar Hop Whistler is a guided party tour that happens every Friday and Saturday night. The party starts at The Longhorn Saloon at 8:00 p.m. and continues to three more iconic Whistler venues. 

Included in your ticket:

  • Five drinks of your choice
  • Express Entry
  • Complementary cover
  • Pizza from Avalanche Pizza Co.
  • Local party guides
  • Games and prizes

This is a great way to check out what Whistler's nightlife has to offer! Make sure to redeem your pizza coupon before heading home for the night.

Snowmobile the Backcountry

  TallGuy on his snowmobile.

TallGuy on his snowmobile.

Grab a quick breakfast and get picked up by Canadian Wilderness and head out of the village. Carve your way through the remote backcountry of the Callaghan Valley. Ride thickly forested trails, play on frozen lakes and cruise up the awe inspiring Sproatt Mountain as you enjoy their new 4-stroke snowmobiles. I had never snowmobiled before, but the guides were attentive and helpful and got me up to speed in no time. They also provided snowmobiling gear, including boots, snowsuits, and gloves, for people who did not have the right equipment. All riders were also provided with a helmet and goggles. The 3-hour tour departs three times daily, but I recommend going early so you can get back to the village and have enough time for your afternoon excursion:

Bobsled on the Olympic Track

  My team hit speeds of nearly 80 MPH on the track.

My team hit speeds of nearly 80 MPH on the track.

Head to the Whistler Sliding Centre and hop into a 4-person bobsled and take an adrenaline-fueled ride down the world’s fastest track, now an Olympic legacy. With guidance from a trained bobsleigh pilot (and reassurance from detailed safety procedures), you and your team will coast through 10 twists and turns at speeds of 125+ km/hr and feel the acceleration of up to 4 G forces as you reach the track’s final and famous Thunderbird Corner. Bobsleigh runs rain, snow or shine so it’s the perfect addition to your time in Whistler, whatever the weather. Your time at the sliding centre will last about an hour. Make sure to book your time slot in advance to ensure availability.

After recovering from the adrenaline rush of a lifetime, it was time to hit the road and head back to Vancouver to catch our red-eye where we dreamt of the next time we return to Whistler.

Tips and Tricks Before You Go:

  • Make reservations for the Ketel One Ice Bar, snowmobiling and bobsledding in advance to ensure availability
  • If you have a season pass at another ski resort, find out if WB has a reciprocal program, otherwise, get your lift tickets in advance for the most savings
  • Depending on your budget, try to stay near the base of the mountain - it offers so much more flexibility getting around
    • TallGuy and I stayed at the Four Seasons Whistler which offered a Ski Conceirge at the base of the mountain for easy storage so we didn't have to carry our skis back and forth
  • If you are only able to ski/snowboard for one day, it is often cheaper to rent than to check bags
  • Read the descriptions of the activities before you leave to guarantee you pack appropriate attire

Did I miss anything? Let me know your favorite Whistler activities in the comments below!